Posts Tagged ‘day of remembrance’

“9-11”,….. a poem dedicated to my aunt Jean.

September 10, 2014

This poem was the favorite of my Aunt Jean Kohut, who died at almost 102 July 28, 2014. She was from Hungary and this courageous young woman at 24 years old, sailed back on the Queen Mary to Hungary to defend her parent’s property rights before the Hungarian court. In 1936 all state institutions, courts, etc. were already taken over by the Nazis. Of course she lost, but the miracle was her courage in facing these circumstances. She could have been jailed or shot.

Aunt Jean knew most of the Astronauts and had signed photos framed on her walls. To say that she was patriotic is an understatement. She was buried in her favorite lavender pants suit, wearing her USA tee shirt. She was a fierce intellectual, and a rare woman at that. She wrote extensively of her love for her new country.

Lady Nyo


Painting by Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2006"Eagle" Jane Kohut-Bartels, watercolor, 2005




That beautiful morning–

Teasing taste of early Autumn

The unthinkable happened

And our world stopped turning

I saw the plane, I saw the fire

I saw the smoke descend like

A blanket of blinding grief

Too late to spare those on the ground

The sight of Armageddon.



Mortar-grey people transformed

Into gritty moving statues,

Holding hands, blinded by smoke,

Move down streets where

Paper, bricks, metal, glass rained down

Like the Devil’s Ticket Parade,

Walked in silence towards the bridges,

Barely a moan I am told,

An Exodus unexpected on this

Morning of such seasonal promise.


I saw worse.

I saw people jump

From the ledges, holding hands,

Some with briefcases

And all I could do

Was howl:


“I will catch you!

Jump into my arms

I will not drop you.

Do not be afraid,

Aim for my embracing arms,

With the last of my life—

I will catch you.”


That day of fire and ash,

Inexplicable funeral pyre,

Of brave souls rushing in

And frightened souls rushing out

And the ash, the ash, the ash,

Covered everything like a silent September snow.


Thirteen years later

Grieving when this day approaches,

I hear the words well up in me:


“We will catch you!

Jump into our arms,

We will not drop you.

You will not be forgotten,

With the last of our breath–

We will catch you.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 9-11-2011-2014

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